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DOE, SRS officials working to finalize liquid waste contract award

September 25, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy is currently attempting to protest-proof its newest Savannah River Site liquid waste contract award, which could be announced soon, a local DOE executive said Monday.

“We’re having active discussions. Remember this was protested the last cycle through, so there’s a lot of going back and checking this again, checking it a third time, and having those kinds of discussions to make sure that we’ve got everything covered with the hopes being that we can actually get to an award and hopefully one that will not be protested ... or at least one that can survive a protest if that were to happen,” SRS associate deputy manager Thomas Johnson Jr. said.

Johnson was speaking before the Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board in Columbia when he made his remarks.

The associate deputy manager said the DOE is “pretty close” to issuing the award on the 10-year, multi-billion-dollar contract. Johnson said it’s going through the “review process” at headquarters, adding that he’s anxious to execute the announcement.

“We’d like to get that contract awarded probably more so than each of you in this room,” Johnson said.

Johnson specifically said DOE proper was not purposefully delaying the process.

The liquid waste mission at the Site involves processing millions of gallons of nuclear waste, shutting and sealing the waste’s aging underground storage tanks and operating a massive waste glassification plant.

In October 2017, the DOE gave Savannah River EcoManagement – a BWXT, Bechtel National and Honeywell International consortium – the nod for the future liquid waste mission.

That decision was immediately protested, via the U.S. Government Accountability Office, by SREM’s bidding opponents: Savannah River Technology & Remediation and Fluor Westinghouse Liquid Waste Services. The GAO, a spending watchdog, upheld SRTR’s protest, forcing the companies to submit revised bids and forcing the DOE to essentially restart the evaluation and award process.

SRTR is an AECOM-CH2M joint venture.

Savannah River Remediation – an AECOM-led team with partners CH2M, Bechtel National and BWXT – is the current liquid waste contractor. SRR received a 10-month contract extension, worth $450 million, at the end of May to account for this acquisition process.

The May add-on is not the first of its kind for SRR. The extension keeps the incumbent on until March 31, 2019 at the maximum term.

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